tax time

I did my taxes last night.  I always had my father’s accountant do them in the past, so this was my first time.  It took about an hour and a half.  I learned some things:

(1) The capital gains tax sucks.
(2) My federal withholding is set way too high.
(3) You have to pay income tax on jury duty compensation.  (I did two days at US$10/day.)
(4) My student loan interest will never be useful in lowering the taxes I pay.  (I went to a
state school.)

In the end, assuming I did it right, I am getting about US$375.00 back, which is good.
Taxes are like homework the government gives you. 

Comments (15)

  1. Phil Weber says:

    If you’re only getting $375 back, it doesn’t sound like your withholding is too high. If you reduce your withholding, you’ll likely owe money next year (assuming your income and deductions are about the same).

  2. jeffdav says:

    Well, the capital gains taxes made the refund much smaller. Since I do not plan on liquidating any more stock for a while (I have paid off all my credit card debt now), it is set too high. This year it was set just right.

  3. Julie Lerman says:

    if you don’t like the capital gains tax – be careful that next time you sell your house, you don’t make a $1/2 million profit 🙂

  4. jeffdav says:

    Now I just need to get a house!

  5. Good thing there is not a tax on procrastination! 🙂

  6. One other comment – capital gains tax (long term gains – namely an investment you’ve held 2+ years) is pretty low compared to income tax. I don’t recall the precise percentages, but it can be over 15% difference, IIRC, depending on your salary. The point is, it would be much, much better tax-wise to have your yearly income be 100% from long term capital gains than from salary. Either way, though, all taxes suck and are too high.

  7. Peter Torr says:

    Ah yes, "taxes in America are too high." The rest of the world *loves* to hear you guys say that 😉

    But then we get to go to our free schools, receive our free healthcare, have a reasonable social security system, etc. and it all seems worth it.

  8. jeffdav says:

    This conversation is becoming dangerously political. This is supposed to be a technical blog with occasional filler about my consumtion of pop culture!

    Yes, we have lower tax rates then many places. However:

    (1) I recently got a letter from social security informing me that if I work until I am 70 (!) I will get about 1/4th my current monthly salary in benefits. I think I could do better then that. I think if I could just save the money I put into social security in my basic savings account I could do better. Especially when there is a foot note explaining that by 2040 they will only be able to pay 70% of the benefits unless congress gets them more money somehow.

    (2) The federal taxes that I do pay, which are significant if not necessarily exorbitant, go to pay for things that I really would rather they did not. And I think there are those in "the rest of the world" who would agree with that sentiment.

    So, in summary, I am saddened to part with the large chunk of my salary currently being spent, in my opinion, badly.

  9. TDavid says:

    Will trade you tax bills Jeff, we have to pay in over seven grand, not counting property taxes and the first quarter tax bill 😉

  10. jeffdav says:

    Heh, I also know others in the US have it worse then me. I cannot complain too much. I do not own any property worth enough for them to tax it. One of these days I need to buy a house…

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    7402 new hampshier avenue

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    Bastin Matembera m